#SOL17 and #DigiLitSunday: Problem Solving

In Real Life:

“Gramma, sit here.”

“H’mm. It’s a long way down to the floor.”

“Here, Gramma.”

I sit.  I can guess the activity by reading the clues in the area.

I don’t know for sure the plan but does it matter?  

Doesn’t the world revolve around my grandson?

How do I wait, without talking/leading, to see what “our play” is going to be?

In My Professional Life:

Book studies have popped up everywhere.  Which ones should I join?  Which ones are quite intriguing?  Which ones should I avoid?

My professional “shelfie” looks like this: (+Disrupting Thinking by Kylene Beers and Bob Probst)


How do I determine what groups to participate in?  

For example, I know of three different groups reading and responding to Disruptive Thinking. Do I just jump in?  It’s summer after all and I do have more “time” to spend on reading and writing.  Do I develop criteria?  What could/should that look like?

Last week’s #G2Great chat was with Patty Vitale-Reilly (@pattyvreilly) about her book, Engaging Every Learner:  Classroom Principles, Strategies, and Tools.  You can read Chapter 6 of her book from Heinemann here, check out the storify here, or even read my blog post about the chat here.

Where do I think problems with “being an engaged learner” might arise?  Where should I begin? Right now I believe I need to pay attention to actions 1, 3, 5 and 6 below as I develop my plans to participate in book studies this summer.

  1. Consider the three dimensions of engagement
  2. Cultivate engagement in the classroom
  3.  Establish routines to cultivate high engagement
  4.   Use assessments to build engagement!
  5.  Use choice to build engagement
  6. Cultivate my own engagement

My decision is to see which of the aspects of “engagement” hook me into summer book groups and provide the incentive for me to continue participating.  By planning to “problem solve” in advance, both when I get stuck when reading and when my participation wanes, I can gather additional information about both my problem solving and my engagement!

What are you going to learn / study this summer to move your literacy life forward?

When do  I want/need/crave choice and creativity and what role will that play in my decisions/actions?


Thank you, Betsy, Beth, Deb, Kathleen, Lanny, Lisa, Melanie, and Stacey for this weekly forum. Check out the writers, readers and teachers here.                                                                                                      

Additional #DigiLitSunday:  Problem Solving posts with Margaret Simon and Reflections on the Teche.



15 responses

  1. I always love the inside your head view you give us in your writing! I am worried about overcommitting to book clubs in the summer too, but for sure will participate in #cyberpd and a school-based group about The Curious Classroom at a minimum (oops, just remembered the Book Love group too). Lots to weigh!

    1. Erika,
      I started signing up and then went “oops” as I already felt over-scheduled. Nothing against learning and YET some time for my own pace. I just always feel badly if I miss a weekly deadline – definitely that I can’t or don’t let it go when I fail to meet my own expectations! ❤

  2. Fran, your list of engagement considerations literally leaped off the page at me! As you can imagine, my transition back to the classroom this fall is at the forefront of my mind the summer, most especially the huge instructional shift for me as I prepare to teach and learn with my little kinders.

    I don’t think I can pick just 2 or 3 from the list to focus on. I need them all. I need YOU! A trip to Montana in the fall is lovely, FYI. We have our own incredible autumn showcase, but better – in the glorious Rocky Mountains! Consider yourself officially invited. 🙂

    1. Dani,
      As you well know, Kinders are usually ALL in so engagement won’t be a major issue. And you will be fabulous at tapping into their interests and choices!

      I will be doing a road trip to AZ and CA to see Allison and Julieanne – #TCRWP friends for years so I may just have to take the LOOOONG route as I have never been to MT!

      Invitation accepted. Details later! Can’t wait!

  3. Jennifer Serravallo said it best in her Teaching Small Groups book — Without Engagement We’ve Got Nothing! You can’t go wrong with any of those choices — I did LOVE Vicki’s new book. And something tells me you are always engaged!!! Happy Reading

    1. Thanks, Clare! That’s so true! Jennifer is brilliant! I think this summer my thinking is about how EVERYTHING is supporting everything else. I don’t have to define the bricks and mortar but each course laid needs to include a LOT of thinking . . . and engagement!

  4. When you have a passion for learning and sharing it is hard to limit yourself so I find your list to be helpful in choosing how to wisely pick and choose. Thanks, Fran.

    1. I know . . . I had this vision of “unlimited time” and I’ve been shocked at the number of people who thought they were going to schedule my time for me. Silly people. Different tasks, but still only so many minutes per day!

      You are welcome! ❤

  5. The choices can be overwhelming. I think I’ve narrowed to 3, cyberpd, Book Love, and #readDTchat. I’ll be focusing on beefing up my reading instruction. Thanks for being a dependable responder to DigiLitSunday.

  6. I have two more weeks of school, so summer reading is still very much in the planning stage – but I am looking forward to it, especially Vicki and Kylene’s books.

    1. Tara,
      Two weeks just blows my mind! Out of my stack, I only have 3 that I’ve not read part of! I’m quite the browser! But I need to dig into some of those! ❤

  7. It’s difficult to choose! I closed up “shop” on teaching for a while, and “took up” a librarian position (which starts in August, officially), joined Penny Kittle’s Book Foundation summer book club, and signed up for Teachers Write. All that AND #g2great, All Write, Scholastic Reading Summit, NerdCampMI…I wonder when I’ll sleep! (Is that a priority?) Have fun deciding, though, and enjoy whatever experiences you decide!

    1. So much great learning . . . Sleep is over rated! LOL! What fun for you to do these knowing you will be a librarian! ❤

  8. So many things to dive into. I feel so lucky to have this time to engage my brain in discovery. Looking forward to so much quiet time with books.

  9. […] has led us through her vision of a Problem-Based Approach in Reading.  I’ve posted about it here, here, here, and here and provided additional links at the bottom lead you to other […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s


A meeting place for a world of reflective writers.

Tim's Teaching Thoughts

Ideas and Reflections on Teaching

Hands Down, Speak Out

Listening and Talking Across Literacy and Math

Teachers | Books | Readers

Thirty-One Educators Connecting Students and Books

Educator *Speaker *Author*coach

We have the perfect words. Write when you need them. www.carlambrown.com

Curriculum Coffee

A Written Shot of Espresso

Mrs. Palmer Ponders

Noticing and celebrating life's moments of any size.


Seeking Ways to Grow Proficient, Motivated, Lifelong Readers & Writers

Doing The Work That Matters

a journey of growing readers & writers

Present Perfect

adventures in multiple tenses

The Blue Heron (Then Sings My Soul)

The oft bemused (or quite simply amused) musings of Krista Marx -- a self-professed HOPE pursuing Pollyanna

Middle English

Life as an English teacher leader

steps in the literacy journey

Walking the Path to Literacy Together


Smile! You’re at the best WordPress.com site ever

Resource - Full

Sharing Ideas, Strategies and Tools

Joel Pedersen

be that #oneperson


All Things Literacy! Brianna Parlitsis

%d bloggers like this: